What is immediately impressive about Erich Kahler's essay-which is both a look at history in-the-round and a moral commitment to its meaning- is the encompassing of so much erudition with so much eloquence. Eventually what is even more impressive is that in the effort to see things comprehensively- as it were from a mountain top- the multiplicity of fact, the jumble of events below come under the essayist's rigorous observance. One finds oneself believing, often against one's darker judgment, that history is, as Dr. Kahler states, ""an indissoluble interaction between actuality and conceptuality"", one that has purpose and form, one that presupposes a universal history- that most unfashionable doctrine-or better yet, a history of man. Dr. Kahler's consolidation of Greek, Jewish and Christian thought, the sacred and secular strains, vis-a-vis the varying stages of Western technology and the pincer- movements of competing ideologies is strikingly managed. So is the demonstration that direction in historical happening is dialectically determines, but the way of happening remains free as to choice and decision. In its calm, scrupulous scholarship and humanist temper, an inspired and inspiring work.